Got a thing for penguins? Then look no further than Isla Magdalena, located just off the coast of Punta Arenas. Hundreds of the cute little critters can be seen up close and personal as they waddle around and huddle up together.
No hiker worth their salt would even consider visiting Chile without crossing Torres del Paine off the bucket list. The stunning treks of this world-renowned national park pass groaning glaciers, towering peaks, forested valleys, and crystal clear lakes.
A charming little German settlement with a distinctly European feel, Puerto Varas is set around a beautiful lake and has numerous nearby waterfalls, volcanoes, and forests to explore.
This quaint little student town boasts stunning natural surroundings, a vibrant cultural scene, and a busy fish market right on the lake where sea lions hang out to gobble up any leftover scraps.
Those with the energy and bravado should consider scaling Villarica, the mammoth volcano that towers over Pucón. It requires a strenuous eight-hour climb with crampons and ice picks, but the views from the top are so worth it.
No trip to Chile would be complete without a stopover in the enormous ciudad capital. Peruse some amazing museums, splurge on world-class fine dining, or just enjoy a few drinks with newfound friends in one of South America’s most exciting cities.
Most of Chile’s wine is produced within just a few hours’ drive of Santiago. Throughout the region, a huge number of world-class vineyards offer wine tasting tours where a copious amount of vino is liberally dispersed among thirsty travelers. Salud!
Heading north of the capital now, and the first place worth stopping is the pleasant seaside town of La Serena. Head for nearby Islas Damas to hike, swim or snorkel among adorable penguins and sea lions.
It’s a long way north to San Pedro de Atacama, a small town in the middle of the desert that serves as the main tourism hub for this remarkable region. Visit steaming hot geysers, bizarre rock formations, and high altitude lagoons surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes.
Go on a tour of Chuquicamata, one of the world’s biggest open-pit copper mines. The free guided tour (these people make so much money that they don’t bother to charge) lasts several hours and provides a fascinating insight into the scale of this lucrative industry.
Fancy a beach break? Then check out Chile’s most happening seaside resort, which is brimming with revelers during holiday periods. For something different, the nearby ghost towns of Humberstone and Santa Laura give an intriguing insight into what life was like back in the 19th century.
The end of the road, or the beginning of your coming from Peru, Arica has a pleasant surfable beach, some lovely colonial architecture, and a great mirador with a war museum that overlooks the coast.